An Eagle Scout is holding a book drive Aug. 13-26 to collect much-needed books for The Canby Center's Reading Mentors Program.
"We are gathering books for the Reading Mentors Program since we went from one school and now we're expanding into four," said Kathleen Hanberg, Canby Center's new Reading Mentors Program coordinator. "We need a lot of books."
The program began last year at Knight Elementary, in conjunction with Superintendent Trip Goodall's Canby Reads Initiative; and with the help of a grant, it will expand to Eccles, Lee and Trost for the 2017-2018 academic year.
The children who participate in the program receive a half-hour per week of one-on-one reading attention from a volunteer reading mentor. The kids also get to take home one book each month.
Eagle Scout Ty Leder approached the Canby Center about their needs, and decided to take on the book drive as his Eagle project.
"I hope that doing this book drive this year will make it be a reoccurring event that will last for many years so that the Reading Mentors program will be able to expand to more schools and more students," Leder said in an email.
For those who wish to contribute, new or gently used books can be dropped off at Canby Public Library and Cutsforth's Thriftway, and books can also be purchased online through Amazon Wish List.
The best books for kids in the program are those that are visually stimulating, have intriguing characters, don't have too many words all at once and have a lot of picture support.
"You're looking for something that you want to open," Hanberg said.
Hanberg hopes that the program continues to focus on encouraging a love of reading.
"In turn, that ends up bringing up their reading scores as a result," Hanberg said.
With the expansion into more schools, The Canby Center is also looking for additional volunteers who are available as mentors for an hour commitment during a school day. But Hanberg said that she can also work with volunteers who are willing but not available during the school day. If you're interested in volunteering visit thecanbycenter.org.